Mittwoch, 4. Mai 2016

Migrant Sicily Newsletter, April 2016

- Isolated, abandoned and sleeping rough: Italy fails to welcome those who need protection

- “We fled to survive”: thousands of migrants continue to arrive on the Sicilian coast

- The massacres are commemorated, but the deaths at sea continue: Europe raises new barriers

- News: the accusation against a Borderline Sicily worker is filed. Lamin's experience: a refugee in Italy, but imprisoned in Mali by bureaucracy

Isolated, abandoned and sleeping rough: Italy fails to welcome those who need protection

They have risked their lives to ask Italy for protection and the possibility of a real future, but years later many people still find themselves without a place to sleep. They are several dozen refugees who are forced to camp out in the tent city at Pian del Lago, victims of a heightened disrespect for human rights, one that forces hundreds of people into an unjustifiable bureaucratic limbo, deprived of the possibility of enjoying their fundamental rights.


If such unwelcoming practices facilitate the proliferation of mystifying speeches and xenophobic deportations, interacting with citizens here can only bode well for the future social inclusion of those who arrive. This is what happened at Piazza Armerina, where a section of the population has begun a dialogue and coexistence with asylum seekers recently transferred there. They have decided to be one of the main supports of the migrants there, who are determined to end up not as victims to a depersonalising system which ignores human rights, but instead to follow the path of freedom and self-determination.


“We fled to survive”: thousands of migrants continue to arrive at the Sicilian coast

Around 10.000 migrants were disembarked by rescue ships along the Sicilian coast this month, with landings happening mainly in the ports along the south eastern coast and at Lampedusa. The weather conditions are bad, the organisation of the journeys always more precarious, the boats ramshackle and minuscule, and the situation of departure at the limit point of survival. Nothing will stop people fleeing violence and the lack of a real future. And at the same time, migrants are being ever increasingly interrogated and identified while still on board the ships.


Many people arrive in extreme conditions, or with disabilities, living witnesses to the death of fellow travellers. What awaits them, however, is a system characterised by an absence of the protection of human rights and a host of linguistic, physical and bureaucratic barriers which soon enough carries many into psychological problems or to remain invisible on the island. The great welcoming so lauded in the militarised landing operations never to seem to have truly begun.


The massacres are commemorated, but the deaths at sea continue: Europe raises new barriers

By now it is every week that one notes the lives of those who do not survive off the coast of Egypt, Libya and in the Sicilian sea. Misinformation and a climate of indifference support Europe's inhumane migration policies, the primary cause of this continual massacre.


On the day before the first anniversary of the shipwreck of 18 April 2015, when around 800 migrants perished, another 400 refugees lost their lives at sea. But Europe's response to these deaths is the reinforcement and implementation of its systems for the control, selection, rejection and deportation of migrants. Within the Hotspots, the key words are identification, selection and surveillance, and the migrants who are taken there turned from people into numbers, left to the mercy of whoever wants to gain either visibility or profit.



News: the accusation against a Borderline Sicily worker is filed. Lamin's experience: a refugee in Italy, but imprisoned in Mali by bureaucracy.

The judge at the court in Caltagirone, on the request of the Prosecution of the Republic, has filed the accusation presented by the manager at the SPRAR* at Grammichele, run by the “San Francesco - 4 Ottobre” coop, against one of Borderline Sicily's workers. This counts as only the latest intimidation taken against those who carry out independent monitoring.


He has been trapped in Mali since 2015, having lost his documents. Lamine, a Senegalese citizen recognised as a political refugee in Italy, has fallen victim to Italian, European and International bureaucracy. In a work where goods and communication can move freely, the same cannot be said of human being, not even in relation to those who our country, and Europe, has engaged itself in protecting.


*SPRAR – Sistema di protezione per rifugiati e richiedenti asilo: protection system for refugees and asylum seekers 

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